Riesling is the ONLY grape varietal that has an international organization to support it and a self-proclaimed overlord.
In 2007, the International Riesling Foundation (IRF) was formed. Its mission is to increase awareness, understanding, and sales of Riesling wines through a comprehensive, integrated system of industry cooperation, research, trade education and consumer communication.
The IRF has board representation and members from every major Riesling producing country—Germany, Austria, France (Alsace), Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. I have been involved for many years and am proudly the current President of the organization.
The first order of business for the IRF was to develop an objective measurement of what style of Riesling you will taste on your palate. The work included using residual sugar, acid and pH to determine if a wine would be Dry, Medium Dry, Medium Sweet or Sweet.
The Riesling Taste Profile is on over 26 million bottles of domestic Riesling! To gain a deeper understanding of the scale please visit the IRF Website.
For many years, the IRF supported the Summer of Riesling program, founded by Paul Grieco, proprietor of Terroir in NYC. Participating restaurants and wine bars were required to pour three Rieslings by the glass for the entire summer. Over 500 restaurants and wine bars across the US participated in this program, which I believe is the reason you see Riesling by the glass so often now. Paul is the Riesling Overlord. If you go to NYC, Terroir is not to be missed. Listen to him tie Brooks Riesling into a Game of Thrones analogy.
How can you best support Riesling?
I hope to raise a glass with you soon—